Christy Hannon was all smiles after she and Hy Lights won the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) $15,000 Amateur World Finals Show Championship.
The last team to work, the pair threw down a round-topping 221 in the final round. Combined with their first go score of 216, they earned a show total of 437 and $2,444 in earnings.
“It’s the most exciting thing in my equine life,” she said. “Ever. Possibly in my entire life.”
Hannon, whose husband, Frank, competed in the Careity Celebrity Cutting on Friday, said she has ridden horses her entire life. Her mother got her started.
“As soon as I could sit up, she had me on the horse in front of her so I don’t remember my first ride,” Hannon said.
She dabbled in other events, including barrel racing, but got hooked on cutting after trying the sport while visiting a ranch. Her winning mount, Hy Lights (Hydrive Cat x Glo N Flo x Mr Peponita Flo), is a 2009 mare bred by Brinkman Ranch LLC, of Lockeford, California.
Mike Wood will bring home the NCHA $5,000 Novice World Finals Show Championship thanks to two strong performances aboard One Time At Night.
The 2010 gelding by One Time Pepto, owned by Teresa Home, marked a combined 442 (219/223), good for a show-topping $3,981 in earnings. Their scores secured third in the first go and, in the second go, topped the round.
Home bought the horse last year at Wood’s urging. One Time At Night is out of Lenas Snow, by Docs Stylish Oak. He was bred by Matthews Cutting Horses LLC, of Warsaw, North Carolina.
“We took him home and Mike started him on his program, and the more he had him, the more we realized that he wasn’t just good, he was special – awesome,” Home said. “And so I showed him in the $5,000 Novice Horse Non-Pro all year, and Mike showed him in the $5,000 Novice, and he just kept getting better and better.”
Home and One Time At Night, nicknamed “Night,” finished the year in seventh place in the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro standings with $14,698 in eligible earnings. Wood and the gelding earned the Reserve Championship in the year-end $5,000 Novice race, which was won by Check Counter.
Ridden by Steve Schlesinger, the son of Im Countin Checks out of Haidas Youngster (by Haidas Little Pep) earned $14,698 for owner Mark Nelson.
Rebecca Drake entered the NCHA World Finals Show with confidence in her horse, One Red Mist, and the mare by One Time Pepto delivered in a big way with the $50,000 Amateur World Finals Show Championship.